Mumbai: If residents of Jogeshwari, Goregaon, Malad and Kandivli have had little or no trouble in obtaining vegetables, fruits, pulses and foodgrain, it is thanks to the efforts of the youth brigade in these areas. Restless after more than three weeks in lockdown, some youngsters have now stepped out to help those living alone, those in medical or public service during lockdown and senior citizens residing in their locality.
Youths from Chincholi Bunder, Orlem and Malwani in Malad are using their scooties to transport vegetables from suppliers to local vendors. Kasim Pez, a youth from Malwani, said, "We go on our scooters to offload vegetables from supply trucks at Marve twice a week. We load these vegetables in big sacks on our bikes and ferry it to the vendors. It is a voluntary initiative, no middlemen are involved."
In Aarey, Gokuldham and Film City areas of Goregaon, youngsters are helping supply foodgrain to stores, supermarkets and shops. Avnisha Gosavi, a working youth, said, "We have been home for almost three weeks but now, we have stepped out to help. We are helping in transporting basic grains, pulses, milk, sugar and tea powder packets to kirana stores and shops. We are taking precautions like wearing masks, using sanitisers and maintaining physical distance during this daily volunteering."
In areas near Jogeshwari and Kandivli, local residents have identified those living alone, or in public service and senior citizens who cannot go out all the time to purchase groceries. Paromita Mehta, secretary of a housing society in Jogeshwari east said, "The youth of our society leave packets of foodgrain, tea powder, milk, sugar, biscuits and other foodstuff at the entrance of every building for senior citizens. Thus, the elderly are spared waiting in long queues at grocery stores."
Sandesh Dasgupta, a youth who lives alone in Kandivli, said, "I realised there are many people like me, who are living alone. Some of us are even working in the public service sector during the lockdown. So I cook a little extra every day and share my meals with the people on my floor."
Community kitchen at Kalina campus
The University of Mumbai (MU) has set up a community kitchen at its Kalina campus, to provide food to the needy, homeless, workers and the poor during the lockdown. This voluntary effort is helping provide two meals a day to over 500 needy and poor people at this crucial time.